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New donation garden aims to help those in need

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Salvation Army Garden PKG

MARION (WSIL) -- The Salvation Army of Southern Illinois and The U of I Extension Center have started a new project in Marion: A donation garden to help those in need.

"University of Illinois Extension has a Growing Together Illinois project and we're excited to bring it to Williamson County and support the Salvation Army in accessing more fresh produce in the food pantry," says Toni Kay Wright, Extension Educator for The U of I Extension Center.

Wright says they hope to provide over 300 pounds of garden fresh produce to the Salvation Army Food Pantry.

"This is going to be a fairly large garden with ten raised beds that are 4 foot by 8 foot, along with 2 beds that are 2 foot by 8 foot so that we can grow trellis over them and grow vining vegetables such as beans or cucumbers," explains Wright.

The garden will also grow other produce like carrots, radishes, tomatoes and potatoes. Cami Horn, Social Services Manager for the Salvation Army of Southern Illinois, says purchasing large amounts of fresh food can be costly making the garden a great addition.

"The dream was to be able to provide those things on a weekly basis which is about to happen so just the nutritional value of that, to be able to add fresh fruits and vegetables to the soup meals or the rice meals that we have or the pasta meals that we have, is just going to not only help with food insecurity but overall health."

In order to sustain this project they're in need of volunteers. The organizations hope to set up adoption weeks so groups can work on the garden on a volunteer basis. They are also looking to partner with an organization for fencing, to protect the crops.

Jacie Brianne

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